N&W 7902 - Expanded to a Question about NKP & Wabash

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun May 26 08:40:19 EDT 2019

On Sun, May 26, 2019 at 6:47 AM Ed wrote:

> Bill -
> That rather graphic imagery is intended to display for all to see the
> displeasure felt by Mr. Burnett toward the post-Robert Hall Smith Norfolk
> and Western.  Smith was the President who retired in 1957 and who was
> replaced by Stuart Thomas Saunders, an ambitious man who wanted to become
> the president of the largest railroad in the country, the Penn Central, and
> did so, with disastrous results.
> The Richard Freeman Dunlap referred to ran the railroad after a time, and
> evidently his work was displeasing to Mr. Burnett.  I’m sure that it was
> displeasing to the Wabush and NKP folks, but being the “mergees” is never
> an easy thing.  I’m certain that nothing the N&W did after that merger
> would have been pleasing to the WAB/NKP folks.  And I’m equally sure that
> none of them was asked whether they wanted to “get in bed” with the N&W.
> Hope this helps.

It's starting to help. Please, all involved, continue this thread with
details. This is the real history of the N&W, the "how things worked" in
the field during this time of the merger. Yeah, there are boardroom
histories about the expanding N&W but what was the real impact? What has
been posted so far, about conflicts between cultures over who could better
run a railroad, fleshes out the dry business history of these mergers (it
also echos what I've heard about the recent merger, of how the Norfolk &
Western was "Southernized" as N&W people were marginalized or pushed out).

This is a good time to caputure these details, since the number of those
who went through these mergers in the '60s is dwindling.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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